Recommendations for first AR-15

TexasSportsman

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Aug 3, 2020
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117
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Houston, Texas
With all this great advice I'll throw in a couple of ideas.

What twist rate do you want/need. Most ARs come with 1/7, 1/8 or 1/9.

Do you want a carbine or rifle?
Do you want an optics ready upper, flat top or one with a fixed carry handle and front sight post?
Do you want a free floating barrel?
Do you want a chrome lined barrel?
Do you want to buy as inexpensive then customize or build one from the ground up?

There are as many questions for an AR as there are for a bolt rifle.

Visit your LGS so you can touch and feel the ones they have in stock. I don't live too far from one and they have a huge inventory of pre-owned ARs. If I were in the market I'd try there first.

Better yet, find store with a range and used ARs. See if you can rent one to see how they shoot.

During my time at the LGS we sold out of the used gun inventory when customers had a chance to try before they buy.

I made the mistake of buying an A3. Wjen I sould have bought a flat top or what's called optics ready. I could remove the handle but had the sight post squarely in the way of the sight picture. I ended up buying a flat top upper. The OEM upper is taking space in the safe. 0814190836b.jpg
 

Creedmoor shooter

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Oct 21, 2013
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Monroe, Newhampshire
To be
Your PRS experience then should apply to this. A rifle made for everything is good at nothing.

A SPR build is going to be a semi auto AR version of a precision rifle. Same things apply to any other rifle, you put ****** components in, you’ll get ****** results. The only way to go about it is to make it purpose built.

There IS a little more forgiveness in the AR-15 platform than say the AR-10 platform as most components are actually rebranded by many companies. Other companies make some of their stuff in house.

A optic that people THINK gives them diversity is a LPVO. It’s not actually good for close up work. Anything with a eye box isn’t. I don’t care what Lucas or daddy thumb is doing on YouTube.
People fight me on this all the time but it’s because they never been in a gunfight in a space smaller than a meth heads trailer.

RDS or holo for “all around.” 36yd, 25 or 50 meter zero. Know your POA/POI.

You’ll notice the suggestions are going to be repeated.

Aero
BCM
Adams
Geiselle
PSA sometimes.
I’ve had good luck with Smith and Wesson’s mp-15T as a general use AR.
Yep I hear you on that. To be perfectly honest I'm not even sure I want one that bad. But it's the only thing that kinda makes sense. My current line up is

My 6mm creed comp rifle
Light weight hunting 6.5 creed
Long range hunting 7mm rem mag

Where I live, I dont need anything bigger than the 7mm rem mag. I was thinking the 223/5.56 would be a good cartridge to practice/train on for my prs stuff. I'm not sure I really want the 223 on a bolt gun when ARs are available.
 

Elkeater

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Dec 3, 2017
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Lots of good advice so far. I bought exactly 1 So far. I built it off a stripped Ruger lower I got on sale for $55. 16” 8 twist Wilson combat barrel, geissle trigger, black rain ordinance bolt carrier group. Aero upper. It will stack my 40gr vMax handloads into .5 MOA as well as .75 MOA for cheap Winchester 55 gr factory ammo. Its my go to predator rifle, truck gun, and I’ve shot deer, hogs, and feral goats with it loaded with 64gr hammer hunters.
 

762x51

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Jan 8, 2016
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NC
it'll be tempting, but stay away from the cheap crap. buy american. you get what you pay for. I own several AR's in several calibers mainly because building them is almost as much fun as shooting them (to me). so that's what i'd suggest, buy the parts and assemble yourself. then you know how it goes together and understand how it functions. they're amazing guns when you see that they are held together buy a bunch of springs, pins and detents.
 

mongo4567

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Feb 27, 2020
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Pflugerville, TX
I've owned and shot lots of them, in several different calibers. A lot of them have been some combination of PSA parts and I've been generally very happy with their quality and warranty when needed. To get the accuracy that I've wanted I did need to replace a barrel on one: despite being a long 7 twist 5.56, it wouldn't shoot any heavy bullets (77 tmk, 70 nbt, 69bthp) really well (under MOA). It was funny because it would stack wolf steel case in one hole.

There are tons of good options and with the current level of precision in modern machining I've seen very few options that I would avoid. I would say to chose your caliber (sounds like 5.56), chose your bullet, chose your barrel length/twist and then see what's out there whether it is turn key or build your own.

There are some things I love like Magpul stocks, Midwest Industries rails, and drop in one piece triggers for bench/hunting rifles. I really like the dissipater with full length handguards/fixed front site/mid length gas for a defensive rifle....but that is just a personal preference.
 

xsn10s

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Mar 7, 2016
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I see a number of bolt assemblies out there that are suppose to be close to USGI bolt weights. But I have to admit I've been out of the picture on AR's too long. I just built my last one three years ago, but the parts have been in storage since the Caifornia ban in 1994 lol. I'm not sure what the equivalent USGI parts would be but the BCM RECCE 18 would probably be the one I'd be looking at. I like what I read about their bolt assemblies on their website. Around $1550 if you can find one. Between gas piston or gas impinged I'd say they both have their pros and cons. Gas piston is cleaner, gas impinged is probably more powder variety friendly. My AR's and the AR10 I got rid of are gas impinged. My M1A's (preban USGI) and FAL's (STG builts) have been gas piston. All have been reliable, built to work.
 

lotech

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Jan 29, 2013
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I'm not really an AR enthusiast, but became curious about them several years ago. I bought three new Colt's - a 6920, an Expanse (I know, it may not really be a Colt but it has Colt stamped on it so I'll call it a Colt for the sake of simplicity), and an A4. All have worked well, and are accurate. Except for sights, these guns remain straight-out-of-the-box; no gadgetry, "upgrades", or other adornment on them. After doing much load development followed by lots of shooting over a couple years, I've pretty much lost all interest in these guns.

I bought Colts because they retain a high resale value and are easier to sell or trade on the used market. I won't argue Colts or Colt copies because garage built ARs or other facsimiles may work as well as a Colt, maybe better. They may be just as accurate or more accurate, but are generally less desirable at sale or trade time.
 

30BR

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Feb 9, 2013
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For serious 600 yard work, I think a 6mm ARC is the way to go. The 223 bullets for long range limits you to single round loading; won't fit the mag.
Just my 2 cents.
 

Josh06

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Sep 17, 2019
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52
Location
Fort Worth, TX
I would suggest building one. Go handle as many as you can and take note of what you like best about each one because most likely one won't have everything you want then put together a rifle that has everything you want, stock, grip, trigger, handguard, etc.. You'll save in the long run that way instead of getting one and the swapping out all those parts.
 

D2wing

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Nov 2, 2011
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Howdy folks, looking into getting my first AR-15. I've resisted the AR platform for a long time just because they didn't really fit my style of shooting, but the time has come where I'd like to own one.

First off, I don't know alot about them. I'm a long range shooter and prs competitor and I've never had a use for them so it's pretty foreign to me. Not looking to spend a ton, but I'd still like to get a decent starter AR-15. I'm looking to spend between 800-1000 or 1100. Right now I'm looking at the Ruger MPR 18in barrel or maybe a Springfield Saint Victor. I want a full m-lock hand guard that much I do know. What's everyone's thoughts? This would be a do all type AR that I'd use for self defense, varmints/coyotes, and some plinking and maybe even dable in some intermediate ranges(400-600 yards) target work.

Open to suggestions. It doesn't have to be a tack driver, but I'd like to achieve atleast sub moa with my handloads.
I have built a few. The best for the money by far are Del-Ton. I have built 2 and both are very good, sub MOA easily and no issues with out of spec parts or poor finish like PSA. They have out preformed much more expensive builds and did not need parts upgrades like some others did.
 

ARlife4me

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Apr 18, 2018
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Canadian, Texas
18 to 20" barrels are a sweet spot for your distance without having a longer and possibly a heavier barrel. 8 twist is a good choice. I haven't found a 7 twist for 77 grain bullets to be any better. What about weight? Bull barrels are not much fun to lug around. I have 3 ARs with poly uppers and lowers that have never had an issue with. The pic is just over 4# gun (closer to 5# w/magnifyer)
20211028_102121.jpg
that has been holding up to 1.5moa with a fast rate of fire (300 rounds in 2 to 2.5 minutes) standing. Could've been just me?
 

D2wing

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Nov 2, 2011
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My favorite for accuracy and being a good all around AR is a Del-ton 16 inch carbine with mid length gas system and lightweight barrel. I installed an upgrade trigger. Shoots sub MOA handles nice and cost around 600 plus scope.
 

basinman

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Jan 9, 2014
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363
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Butte La Rose, LA
Check out Palmetto State Armory and also Bear Creek Arsenal. I have bought from both and have no complaints. Bear Creek even guarantees MOA accuracy. Lots of calibers to choose from. A good match is the complete lower from Palmetto with an upper from Bear Creek.
 

Idaho Lefty

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Jan 29, 2018
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You can drive yourself "Nuts" trying to, figure out which One,.. is,.. BEST !
Many "Good" Choices, but go back s few years and read some YouTube Reviews and the COMMENTS by actual Owners of, Adams Arms, Rifles.
Hard to find anyone, NOT liking, their Rifle ! 7- 8 Years now of, Shooting with Family,.. My kids and Grand kids, LOVE shooting, it !
And I'm still Satisfied, using it, as a Steel Plate Plinker, Coyote Rifle, Home Defense, etc. and am very Happy I chose, a Low Power Scope and 16 inch Barrel !
My 16" bbl, will drive 60 grain NBT's and 65 grain Sierra, GK Bullets around,.. 2,800 FPS !
NOTICE in, Post #29 how the 30 Round Magazine "sticks out", WAY BELOW,.. the Grip,..
IF you can't, "Get it DONE" with a 20 Rounder, Buddy,.. YOU,.. ARE, in Trouble !
 
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